Hudson_parking_red_bankHudson Avenue residents won’t have to plead a parking hardship to get permits under an ordinance up for adoption tonight — not that the requirement has ever kept anyone from getting one.

At least one aspect of a pending lawsuit over parking tickets has gotten the attention of Red Bank’s elected officials.

A little-known provision that requires residents of permit-parking streets to prove they don’t have off-street parking in order to qualify for the permits would be eliminated under the terms of an amendment slated for a vote tonight by the borough council.

The action comes a month after attorney Bill McCarter, of the firm McCarter & Higgins on Drs. Parker Boulevard, challenged the permit parking law on behalf of Tai Truong, an employee of the Broad Street post office. The suit claims Truong’s vehicle has been repeatedly ticketed for violating a resident-parking law that McCarter contends doesn’t, in fact, prohibit non-resident parking.

McCarter also alleged that the borough was violating its own ordinances by giving out permits without requiring applicants to prove they had no driveway or other off-street parking on their properties.

McCarter’s suit, filed in state Superior Court in Freehold, asks that a judge order Red Bank to stop issuing tickets. That suit is proceeding, he says.

The amendment on tonight’s agenda would, in theory, make it easier for residents of those streets to acquire parking permits, though there’s no evidence that its ever been enforced.

In it, the council acknowleges a lack of enforcement of the hardship provision, but now contends the requirement “did nothing to enhance the quality of life” in town.

From the amendment:

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council further find that the prior requirements of the Ordinance requiring that a resident demonstrate a lack of on-site parking as a condition of receiving a residential parking permit was not being uniformly enforced for a number of years; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council further find that the requirement of a demonstrated lack of on-site parking requirement did nothing to enhance the quality of life of Borough residents, or the safety of Borough streets, both of which would be adversely affected by an undue number of non-residential vehicles parked in residential zones; and

WHEREAS, elimination of the requirement that a resident demonstrate a lack of on-site parking to qualify for a residential parking permit will only increase the potential number of
people eligible for such a permit and thereby encourage such individuals to leave their motor vehicles parked near their homes and to utilize public, or non-polluting, modes of transportation such as bicycles or electric vehicles;

McCarter says he was unaware of the proposed amendment until asked about it by redbankgreen, but says it

is obviously intended to “fix” some defects in the current ordinance that were raised in the lawsuit. I will have to take some discovery to find out what facts underlie the concerns cited in the draft ordinance.

Here’s the amendment: Download 2008-19.pdf

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